Positivity tattoos have a therapeutic art, especially if you have a mental illness. Although not everyone has a tattoo, many people see the symbols and ink images as an opportunity to show off their personality and creativity. Even the smallest positivity tattoos can have big meanings,
especially if they represent obstacles that you have overcome. Let’s explore why tattoos can have such a positive effect on the mind, along with the most effective positive images and symbols.
Why is positivity tattoo so popular?
Humans have been marked with tattoos since the beginning of civilization. Tattooing is a ritual to mark a person’s place in the community, a decorative celebration to showcase the skin, and a way to stand out in prisons and criminal underworld. Either way, it has always been a natural necessity to mark our bodies with meaningful symbols. For many, tattoos are a way to make sense of their inner world.
As one tattoo artist sums it up:
“There is something in our DNA that prompts us to mark our bodies in a different way from what is around us.”
While tattoos were rare in the Western world 50 years ago, at least one in three Americans has one. Many of these tattoos originate from indigenous communities or symbolize spiritual powers. Others are inspired by nature and the environment. One thing is for sure: tattoos are popular because they make people happy.
Positivity Tattoos: On Images and Symbols
Positive symbols for tattoos
If you are planning to get yourself a positivity tattoo (the first or the thirtieth), it is important to know what the pictures and symbols mean. While each tattoo is personal to the wearer, the chosen image of positivity will certainly have roots in ancient culture, especially if it is a well-known design or symbol. These are the most positively popular tattoos and the traditions they come from.
- Hearts and banners: These tattoos have become a fashion staple, but in fact they come from sailors to mark their exploits at sea. Nowadays, hearts often demonstrate personal connections and often have names in their centers.
- Swallows – sailors used swallows to symbolize their miles of travel – every time they reached a new stage, they received a new swallow. Today, swallows and other birds symbolize freedom and affinity with nature.
- Lotus: The lotus has been a powerful and positive symbol for centuries. In the Buddhist, Hindu and Egyptian religions, it is considered a sacred flower which represents divine birth, creation and spiritual development. The lotus itself emerges from the dirty water and blooms like a pure and beautiful flower, becoming a great symbol of persistence and growth.
- Semicolons – The semicolon is often displayed to represent life after a suicide attempt; this story is not yet over. For anyone with a mental illness, this symbol can be a powerful and positive reminder that they have overcome the struggle.
- Letters and Quotes: It has become a custom to have letters and inspirational quotes tattooed on different parts of the body. These quotes can remind you of your favorite song, send a positive message, or help you understand a painful situation.
The Beatles’ Blackbird’s “Take Those Broken Wings and Learn to Fly” is a metaphor for surviving adversity (being “broken”) and learning to thrive independently.
If you have a personal mantra for positivity, you may decide to have it tattooed on your body. A simple phrase like “Think Positively” or “Never Give Up” can be encouraging during a difficult time.
Dates – Many people choose to tattoo memorable dates to mark the birth of a child, an achievement like leaving the hospital or graduating from college, or the death of a loved one. Only do this if the date belongs to an event you want to remember. You need to feel positive, proud, and connected when you watch it.
Which positive sign is right for you?
Each symbol has a deeper meaning, but what it means to you is what matters. Take the time to research symbols and images of positivity before deciding which tattoo is right for you. You can practice drawing tattoo ideas in your positivity journal or creating an idea album. Positive tattoos can be a great source of comfort when you are going through a difficult time (“How to Focus on the Positive When Your Mental Health is Disaster”). They can also serve as positive reminders and help you connect with other people who have similar interests and experiences.
Please note: it is important not to get a tattoo on the spur of the moment. Although many tattoos can be removed, the removal process can be long and expensive. If you’re prone to manic attacks or impulsive behavior, it’s best to wait until your mood stabilizes before getting a tattoo.